Fear Only Wrong Fear

“Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
    who greatly delights in his commandments!..
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
    he is gracious, merciful, and righteous…
For the righteous will never be moved;
    he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
    his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
    until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever;
    his horn is exalted in honor.” Psalm 112:1,4,6-9

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10

Proper fear of God wards off improper, inordinate fear of man, events, and unknowns. Proper fear of God rises like light from a right understanding of who He is and the power He holds, and dispels the darkness of anxiety and dread. The God who rules over storms also rules over their aftermath. Fearing Him then guards our minds and emotions going forward, establishing them in spiritual wisdom and fixing them in certainty on what is above, not on earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)

“The Lord is high above all nations,
    and his glory above the heavens!
Who is like the Lord our God,
    who is seated on high,
who looks far down
    on the heavens and the earth?” Psalm 113:4-6

“Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord,
    at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turns the rock into a pool of water,
    the flint into a spring of water.” Psalm 114:7-8

The drone of bad news in media and culture can mesmerize us by angst and despair. Fears of this, and that, and what-if make every sinister attempt to hold us in their grip. When we deliberately change our focus to fear God instead, and the music in our head from a drumbeat dirge of doom to delight in His attributes and promises, our outlook will change. When we look at adversaries of temptation, hardship, health, or a tenuous future through the lens of His triumph, we will grow in trust and make it contagious. (2 Timothy 4:18)

What unsteadies us and causes fear in our day to day? An exorbitant expense or unexpected diagnosis? The threat of natural, national, or international disaster? Do we recognize how the input we absorb is both smart and successful at dictating thought-links and fomenting irrational responses of fear and anger? What would change within me if I changed my input, and for a day, or days, ingested only God’s true word, allowing it a long soak into my heart? How could emotional frenzy be calmed if I put to memory for ready recall some verses or passages on hope? Would I humbly revere the omnipotent God who transcends every care, and turn each anxious impulse to thankful, expectant prayer and meditation on what is true and lofty? (Philippians 4:6-8)

Fearing God and nothing else is obeying God. He enables us to do all He commands by providing His presence and Spirit. To fear and trust Him only is to honor His power and name. (Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 41:10; 2 Timothy 1:7)

Lord, may I ever fear You and steadily trust Your supremacy over all, and so bring You the glory You deserve.

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